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Smallest Board Fold?

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Anonymous

I've been working on designing a game and I have two questions:

1) What is the smallest board fold that is possible? The game has a 9 x 9 inch board with no fold. If I do a single fold it will be 9 x 4 1/2 and if I do a quad fold then it will get down to 4 1/2 x 4 1/2. Is it possible to fold the board down this small or is their some law of physics that comes into play? A smaller folded board means a smaller box and lower cost.

2) Will the savings that I get with a smaller box be cancelled out by a higher cost of producing the board? Will the cost of folding and pasting the pieces of the board together be that much extra?

Zzzzz
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Smallest Board Fold?

I dont see any reason that you cannot make a board that small. Here are a few how-to links for making single and quad boards. As long as you follow the process of making a board, 4.5 inches does not seem unreasonable. Though a professional print of the gameboard might cost a little more since I dont recall ever seening a gameboard that small, so it might be custom job for most game printers.

The links for the how-to info:

Single board info, some other useulf tips also.
http://bgdf.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=17187&highlight=#17187

And for a little more info specifically for quad-boards check out:

http://degroof.home.mindspring.com/boardgame/boardgame.html

FastLearner
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Smallest Board Fold?

Another major consideration is shelf space and attracting attention: If your box is small enough, it's not going to grab visual attention and may not sell as well, just because it gets lost in the clutter.

In addition, perceived value is a big issue. If someone is going to pay, say, $30, most people would rather pay for a 10" x 10" x 3" box than they would a 5" x 5" x 2" box, no matter what's actually inside.

-- Matthew

Zzzzz
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Smallest Board Fold?

FastLearner wrote:
Another major consideration is shelf space and attracting attention: If your box is small enough, it's not going to grab visual attention and may not sell as well, just because it gets lost in the clutter.

In addition, perceived value is a big issue. If someone is going to pay, say, $30, most people would rather pay for a 10" x 10" x 3" box than they would a 5" x 5" x 2" box, no matter what's actually inside.

-- Matthew

Yeah, I was not thinking about that when I posted. I cant tell you hoooow right Matthew is on this issue. I can tell you that many people buy based on perceived value (or eye candy) vs the actual contents of the box. And I have seen it happen all the time at GenCON.

Anonymous
Smallest Board Fold?

Thanks for the links for the board production. I understand the perceived value argument that is being raised. I guess I could price it lower since my costs would be lower with a smaller box.

Anonymous
Smallest Board Fold?

I was also going to market it over the internet so they won't know how small the box is until it arrives.

FastLearner
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Smallest Board Fold?

That does solve any potential shelf-space problems, but may not alleviate folks' sense of value received, which could affect reviews, word of mouth, etc.

Still, like you said, if you can save enough money, it may well be worth it. It's just worthy of consideration, I suggest.

-- Matthew

Brykovian
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Smallest Board Fold?

I just switched over to packaging my first self-sold game in a plastic VHS case. My game's board is 9-inches by 7-inches ... I make it as a single board, then slice it into 3 pieces (each 3x7) in order for it to fit nicely in the case.

My next game will have a similar board in similar packaging.

Not sure if that helps you out at all ... just figured I'd tell you that I'd worked through that same issue myself.

-Bryk

Oracle
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Smallest Board Fold?

FastLearner wrote:
Another major consideration is shelf space and attracting attention: If your box is small enough, it's not going to grab visual attention and may not sell as well, just because it gets lost in the clutter.

In addition, perceived value is a big issue. If someone is going to pay, say, $30, most people would rather pay for a 10" x 10" x 3" box than they would a 5" x 5" x 2" box, no matter what's actually inside.

-- Matthew

This is the conventional wisdom, but I'm not sure how true it is anymore.

Most of us have fairly large game collections and finite space to store them. If a game comes in a huge box that just wastes space to grab attention, it's a negative feature.

In the comptuer game industry, around 5 years ago the companies really went overboard with huge and oddly shaped boxes, and all that was in them was a CD. Customers really didn't like this, and today a lot of computer games come in a small box not much larger than a paperback. The size even seems standardized across companies. I actually feel better spending $50 on computer game in one of these smaller boxes than the same game in an oversized box. During the transition, a lot of games were released at the same price in over-sized and compact boxes, and the compact ones sold far better which is how we eneded up in the current state.

FastLearner
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Smallest Board Fold?

Oracle wrote:
Most of us have fairly large game collections and finite space to store them. If a game comes in a huge box that just wastes space to grab attention, it's a negative feature.

I disagree. Most of us don't have fairly large game collections. A small minority of the people who will buy a given game, even a hobby game, have large game collections, I'd bet.

I certainly wouldn't argue that "a huge box" is a good idea, but if your game is sitting next to a bunch of other 12" x 9" x 2" games, and it's half the size, it will get lost.

Quote:
In the comptuer game industry, around 5 years ago the companies really went overboard with huge and oddly shaped boxes, and all that was in them was a CD. Customers really didn't like this, and today a lot of computer games come in a small box not much larger than a paperback.

True, but this wasn't driven by consumers: it was driven by retailers. Several of the large ones, including Best Buy and WalMart, IIRC, said that they simply would no longer carry games over x by y by z dimenions, period. Manufacturers took heed.

Quote:
The size even seems standardized across companies.

Right, but only because it's the size the retailers specified.

Mind you, the computer industry made like it was their clever idea once they were forced into it, but the underlying facts were that the retailers drove it. Consumers, I would argue, didn't care all the much. Yeah, it was a bit of a hassle, but nothing like it was for retailers.

Quote:
I actually feel better spending $50 on computer game in one of these smaller boxes than the same game in an oversized box.

Sure, because all you're buying is electrons. When you buy a board game, you're buying protons. You're touching them, moving them, playing with them. It's an extremely tactile pastime, and the protons matter.

If you're just going to look at dedicated hobby gamers, you still have a big perception problem. Alea went with a cheaper, smaller production method for Louis XIV and all I heard at the Gathering about it was complaint after complaint after complaint. "The cardboard is too thin. The die cutting is horrible." Compare that to a Days of Wonder game.

Quote:
During the transition, a lot of games were released at the same price in over-sized and compact boxes, and the compact ones sold far better which is how we eneded up in the current state.

The compact ones sold better because the big mass-market retailers wouldn't carry the larger ones.

My argument is that people are buying the intellectual concept and the protons -- even the perception of photons -- when they buy a boardgame.

And the shelf space argument still stands on its own. If you have the little box on the shelf, fewer people will see you, simple as that.

IMO.

-- Matthew

Gogolski
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Smallest Board Fold?

I like small boxes, because they are easy to transport. When I meet up with people to play games, it's very easy to put 3 or 4 small boxes in a backpack and have a lot of choice for what games we will play. (I don't own a car, so a backpack is nice and easy on my bike.)

Also when traveling, it's nice to be able to bring more games along in small boxes, instead of 1 game in a big box that takes up a lot of space...

Maybe it's just me, but I think they are very convenient.

Cheese!
-Fred-

seo
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Smallest Board Fold?

Fred wrote:
Maybe it's just me, but I think they are very convenient.

It's not just you. I love small boxes too, and I think lots of people like small games and small pieces in general, as long as they're well crafted and not too small to be usable.

ThinkFun is one game company which produces several reduced size games. Some are just reduced versions of bigger games, some are simply games in a small package.

As with chess, backgammon, etc., sometimes small size is a desireable feature. It might affect the price of the game, though, so I'm not sure how much benefit you might get from the production and shipping savings.

Seo

Anonymous
Smallest Board Fold?

I don't think that a large box size will fool serious gamers like us into liking or promoting a game through word of mouth unless the game is quality.

phpbbadmin
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Smallest Board Fold?

FastLearner wrote:

I disagree. Most of us don't have fairly large game collections. A small minority of the people who will buy a given game, even a hobby game, have large game collections, I'd bet.

-- Matthew

What would you consider a fairly large collection? I don't think I have that many games (I have less than 50) but I know even I have a problem storing them all. Most of my friends in my game club have considerably more than I (over 75). It seems like most people who are game afficionados have a lot of games.

-Darke

FastLearner
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Smallest Board Fold?

Me, I like small boxes, too. But again, I think we're in the minorty.

I mean, if Hans Im Gluck produces 100,000 copies of the next Carcassonne, what percentage of those do you think are purchased by people with 50+ games in their homes? If Days of Wonder produces 10,000 copies of Shadow Over Camelot, what percentage of those go to homes with 50+ games?

We are gamers, and we play games with gamers. But I'm not so certain that even a print run of 3,000 games goes mostly to people who have 50+ games in their collections.

If you weren't a big internet-enabled gamer, you'd be buying your games based on actual word-of-mouth plus what caught your eye in the store. If you're not a big-time gamer and one box cost $40 and is the size of a hardback book and the other cost $40 and is twice the size, consciously or not the latter will be a better perceived value.

And perhaps that's the key concept, "consciously." We -- even gamers -- make so very many buying decisions for almost entirely unconscious reasons. Don't sell yourself long, as it were.

Anonymous
Smallest Board Fold?

Help!! My topic has been hijacked!!

Anonymous
Smallest Board Fold?

Just kidding with that last post. I will rephrase my questions:

1) What is the smallest fold that anyone has seen on a game (the measurement of the board when fully folded.) Please name the game and the size.

2) What is the incremental cost to fold and tape a board vs. having no fold? For example - if a board costs $1.72 each for a 9 x 9 inch no fold board on a 1000 piece run - What would be the cost per unit for a 1000 piece run for a 9 x 9 inch board assuming a quad fold?

Any help would be appreciated.

FastLearner
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Smallest Board Fold?

The smallest folds I've seen just brought the game down to a 10x10 or so. Doesn't mean it can't be done.

The game Oltremare used a puzzle-piece system, so that the four pieces (all using the same die, I think) stack in their very small box. Might be cheaper than a mini-fold board, and afaic it works great.

For pricing, I think you'll just need to request quotes. It doesn't take that long and most production companies are happy to offer them.

-- Matthew

Anonymous
Smallest Board Fold?

I went to this web site and found some good tips on the size of the box:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/DesignConsiderations.shtml

"For the most part the design of the box has nothing to do with how the game plays but there are still issues you need to be aware of. Most first impressions of a game come from the box and so a good design will go a long way to actually selling it.

* List the name of the game on the side of the box. This may seem like a simple thing but it's amazing that some companies forget. It's also vitally important that the title is distinct and can easily be read from several feet away—attracting the attention of a buyer is a must.

*Make sure any "back of the box" photo shows a legal game position. Players will often use any clue they can to determine the proper way to play, even consulting the photo on the back of the box. Generally speaking this is a bad idea as often the picture will have been arranged by a photographer who knows nothing of how the game is played. I think it would be far more useful if some attention was paid so that any "in progress" position shown was actually a legal situation.

*Print opposite sides of the box horizontally and vertically. Check out the picture of Alea games to the right—one side has the name vertically, the opposite side horizontally. This means that the store owner/purchaser has the option of storing the game on its side or edge. This may not be a big deal to the consumer but having greater visibility in a store is a definite advantage.
"

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